Livid was devastated after her parents death, well actually she wasn't. She had grown immune to feeling emotions like sadness or happiness. She looked out and felt her mind whirl with what most would feel like anger. She looked up to the sky and bit back a horrendous howl. That was the worst mistake she made because soon after she has growling and then let out a loud and guttural howl that had caused her spine to send shivers. The howl was out of anger and out of sadness yet she was still detached to them.
She lifted her body up and slammed her front paws back down flinging slush everywhere. She wasn't a happy camper and right now she wanted something to attack. A slow breeze made its way to the peak she was standing on and she looked out and saw a lot of things moving. She inhaled and slowly calmed down. She just waited to see if anything would approach her.
Aoife was the type of dog to be filled with wanderlust. She had gotten that from her father before he disappeared. She remembered him in and out of her life. Like a sparrow on the wing, never around for more than two weeks before he was gone again. She remembered begging Iris to tell her stories about their father. In her memories she couldn't hear the bitterness in her sister's voice. And Aoife was still attached to this romanticized version of her father. The father who journeyed all over Canaria helping poor dogs and fighting monsters. And that was the greatest influence in her life.
The terrier mix jogged up the mountain to Lowry Peak. Sometimes, she climbed up here because it gave such a spectacular view of the land. You could almost see the whole of Canaria from up here. And she liked to pretend that her father had influenced the lives of dogs all over. It was better than succumbing to the realization that he was just another dead-beat dad in a dead-beat world.
However, this time, she would not be alone with the birds and the juniper tree. She saw a familiar, large shape. "Livid!" This was the dog that, not too long ago, they worked together to stop a rampaging military machine using their nothing more than their wits and strength and agility. Aoife knew that she had made Winterwood proud that day.
Livid heard her name and glanced over. "Oh hey Aoife! What has been going in your pack recently?" She asked with a kind smile as she looked at her somewhat healed wound. "I see your wound from the robot is healing up quite nicely. I see a scar in your future." She said and then laughed at herself. She sat down careful not to smash her tail under her like last time. I still have a stupid kink from that. She though t and thumped her tail a couple of times. She was genuinely happy to see her friend but she had something that was on her chest and it was driving her crazy since she couldn't figure it out. She knew that her parents death were caused by a natural cause, but she also knew that they were pretty young too.
Aoife smiled. "Nothing much, actually. Just the same old, same old. Issues with the Alpha. You know, political stuff that I really, really don't care too much about." The terrier was a free spirit. She wasn't going to worry herself with things like the relationship the current Alpha had with the pack. She knew that it was bad. Especially because he was breaking rules while ruling the pack with an iron paw. And it was for that reason she wandered out of the pack's boundaries so often lately.
Perhaps it was getting to her.
"I do hope it heals well. A scar would be best so I can tell the story at the Festival." And she also hoped that the pack would still be around by then. She looked at her friend. A loner. It did seem like a good life. But, lonely. She couldn't be without her ties to loyalty to her pack and she loved the traditions and festivals of Winterwood.
Aoife noticed that Livid seemed troubled. "Got something on your mind?" It seemed that Lowry Peak was the prime place to clear one's head. She came up here when she thought of her family. Her brother dead, her mother dead, her father most likely dead, but she could still hope, right? All she had was Iris. But hey, at least she had somebody.
"Yeah, actually I do. I know for a fact that my parents died of natural causes. The problem is they were young. Like 5 years young..." She said perplexed by the idea of them being dead. "You know it's probably nothing. What brings you out here? And honestly that is why I don't join packs. Stupid stuff with alphas and all that. Bah to all that. That is what I say." She nodded her head after the speech.I wander what did they do. Too deserve death so young in life. She shook the thoughts out of her head with a furious mental shake and looked at Aoife closely.
Aoife's face screwed into a hard to read expression. "Dogs die young in Canaria often enough." A strangely depressing statement from a dog who was normally the most joyful and upbeat. She was thinking of her own mother. Who died around that age in whelping her. Or her brother who died nearly when he was born. He didn't even get to leave his mark on the world. She erased those feelings of sadness when Livid said that it was probably nothing.
Not because she thought it was nothing, but because she didn't want to think of it. Being pensive about anything really wasn't Aoife's scene. And it seemed that Livid was equally as awkward about it. The way both of them just wanted to skirt the issue. "Don't discount packlife," Aoife said. "It's just right now, you have to take the bad with the good. I heard the other packs got new leaders, so I guess the times are changing, that there's a new era starting. I hope not too much changes. But also not too much stays the same. If that makes sense. I'm not really one for being eloquent or anything." She didn't answer Livid's question. Why am I out here? But then again, she wasn't completely sure of the answer herself.
Livid almost laughed. She quickly sat down. "You know most often people just look at me like I am crazy. Yet you do not." She said with a small smile on her maw. She was rearing to do something but was awfully lazy and not wanting to do something. "Is your pack accepting members or?" She asked with a look at her friend. She looked closely and noticed that she was a very beautiful dog. She squinted her eyes even more when she picked up her tan fur and her pretty eyes. Her amber eyes blinked shut and reopened to find the world the blur of color it is every time she has looked at it. She knew from an early age that it was not normal to see only blurs so she never told any one that she had never seen colors with out them melding into others. She was able to see shapes and stuff but that was about it.
"Well, I'm probably a little crazy myself," the terrier mix admitted. She grinned, as if proud of what she had just asserted. "So, yeah, I don't think you're crazy. But, that's like a mountain thinking that a redwood isn't that tall." Aoife laughed openly at her own joke, a good-natured laugh that said more about her heart than her sense of humor.
At the suggestion that Livid might even consider pack life, Aoife lit up. "My pack is always accepting members!" the terrier said, hopping onto her toes. Her excitement seemed like it was hard for her to contain, as her tail wagged into a blur behind her and even her front feet started to dance, unable to be still. "And, you know, you are the perfect dog for it. I mean, our pack is a bit different than most, I think I mentioned before. Full of traditions, but no tradition is greater than seeing what us dogs could do. You know what I mean? Like we survive with what we were meant to have, not the powers humans gave us."
She stopped talking as she gathered her thoughts to think about how to best sum up her pack without scaring Livid away from it. Her pack sometimes sounded like a strange little cult that eked an existence here in Canaria. "You and me killed a military machine together. With only the strength of our bodies. Nothing else. That is, in essence, what Winterwood is about and what the pack celebrates."
"Well sign me up! I like the idea of them all ready!" She barked with enthusiasm. Her tail beat the ground flinging some mush up and down. She was happy with joining her friends pack. She might help out with whole finding an leader. "I am ready to give up the loner life. It's too much work. I want some responsibility." She said with a smile that showed that she couldn't wait. She was waiting that for the option to ask her friend if she could join. This was her dream come to. She might be with a new family that wont turn on her and chase her out.
Aoife wagged her tail. "Livid! This is absolutely perfect!" She hopped up and down, unable to keep her enthusiasm inside. She had effervescent energy bubbling out of her. Her glee sparkled in her dark eyes. "Well, I think you'll love it in the Laika Timberland. I love it when we hunt our quarry and fight and survive." She took a deep breath. "You'll be a subordinate until you find your place, but I think you'll fit in quickly."
She looked down the trail that led down the mountain towards the Timberland. "You know, you should see where the pack lives." Aoife couldn't shut her trap, she kept running her mouth about it. "I have to show you my favorite spot. There's this tree and it glows and... you know what? It might be easier to just show you."
Livid laughed at her. "You must be really excited for me to join. I can't wait to see your glowing tree." She said with a happy smile and nodded her head in conformation. She couldn't wait and she was going to be with her friend. "What do you think my place would be?" She asked all of sudden starting to feel nervous and her mind started to turn in weird amusement with nervousness mixed in. She breathed in and out trying to calm herself and just hoping that they like her. She shook her fur out and slowly calmed down enough not to worry about anything like that.
Aoife looked at Livid, musing a little bit. She imagined the dog in different positions. As a huntress alongside her. As a Warrior, defending the honor of the pack. A Scout journeying across the land, reporting back with the information she collected. She couldn't see Livid as a healer or a shaman. She also knew that Livid would have to pass the Survival Test in order to be eligible for the higher ranks.
"Well, I'm a Huntress," Aoife added helpfully. "I want you to be one too, but there are ranks for Warriors, too. And Scouts. I think you'll be good in any of those three. But if you want a higher rank, you have to pass the Winter Survival Test."
The terrier mix's eyes looked lost in memory for a second. It was just a glimpse. She remembered the cold, dark. The moon overhead barely a sliver. The dog she camped out with, dead at her feet. Not everyone survived the Test. And she knew not to howl or else the monsters would hear her. "It's not easy, but I think you can manage it if you are interested in something higher." She nodded to herself.
You didn't have to look my way. Your eyes still haunt me to this day. But you did. Yes, you did.
Livid looked at her new companion. "I think being a huntress would be good for me." She said and nodded her head. I think that being in a pack would teach me something new. I can't wait to do this. She looked at her as she brought up the winter survival test. "I think I could pass that with flying colors. I mean I lived out here for a while haven't I?" She said and smiled at her friend. "The question is that if I did do it, could we work together?" She asked with a smile.
Aoife shook her head and replied with gravity in her words, "I've already taken the test. It would be an unfair advantage for you to have someone who had already survived the Winter in the Northlands." She smiled as she explained the rules to Livid. "But a lot of dogs choose to take the test together. That's... allowed. Unfortunately, not every dog survives." Unfortunately, the dogs who do die, they tended to be eaten by the wilderness that killed them. Mutants or rogue machines or even just being exposed to the elements.
"But I think you can pass it!" The cheer in her words had returned. Aoife smiled. It was time to go back to the pack and show Livid the dogs she would now be sharing her life with.
You didn't have to look my way. Your eyes still haunt me to this day. But you did. Yes, you did.
Livid nodded at her friend and barked out "I think it is time to go and meet the dogs I will be sharing my life with now." She had looked at her friend and sighed. "Lets go and introduce me to the chaos of pack life!" She was excited and she stood up and her tail started to wag constantly. I am going to make these dogs love and adore me! She thought and nodded in confirmation.
OOC: I LOVE Steam Powered Giraffes by the way, Honeybee is my favorite song by them.